Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

September 1, 2010

Indy Car: Let’s Have a Split and Do It Correctly This Time

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:47 pm

There is a story floating around that the proponents and backers of the Delta Wing, a design that did not get chosen by ICONIC, are going to build it anyway and possibly race it in its own series if necessary. I admire their dedication, but wish they were better sports and not quite as petty in their disdain for the process that eliminated their car. Personally I wish ICONIC had approved the Delta Wing in addition to the choice they made. That would have guaranteed diversity. The choice ICONIC made, however, was the most practical.

There is a ton of talent associated with the Delta Wing, and a smarter long term choice would be for all involved to turn their attention toward building an aerodynamically superior 2012 body for the new Indy Car. That would be the smartest move, so do not count on that as the choice they will make.

Please allow me to float an idea that would either be brilliant or crazy depending on your outlook. If someone is stupid enough to want to go through another ‘split’ why not make it the granddaddy of all splits? Bruton Smith and Indy Car should team up to start a grassroots STOCK car series that runs on independent and SMI tracks. The goal would be lower cost and more ‘stock’ than NASCAR. Call it ‘ISCA.’ The Indy Stock Car Association. Run race weekends with Indy Cars and include most of the non-ovals. I believe it is high time the entire France family soiled their britches for a change.

Worried about NASCAR pulling out of IMS? So what? Run ISCA. Want to make it even more interesting? Buy ALMS. Rename it ‘ILMS.’ The Indy Le Mans Series. Run that with Indy Cars on road courses and run ISCA on ovals. Think of all the promotional possibilities.

Integrate well defined ladders for each. It is high time to shake off the complacency. Let’s do this. I wonder whether NASCAR would take the cart approach and self-immolate themselves into bankruptcy and non-existence? Twice?

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7 Comments »

  1. The amazing thing to me remains that the Delta Wing is not an open wheel car. We are talking American Open Wheel racing. It’s the very definition of the sport. This is not the same as moving the engine from the front to the back. The league was never called American Front Engine Racing League. So I would rather see a split with the DeltaWing running (perferably on road and street courses so I can laugh at the sight of that silly rocket on a street course) and real open wheel cars running on mainly ovals and perhaps a few road courses.

    Randy Bernard is already re-splitting the league into Road/Street courses and Ovals. We are already seeing different drivers driving primarily one or the other. That trend will continue.

    Defender, as long as we can still have a real open wheel league, I would also support a real stock car league (like nascar used to be).

    Racing yes-fenders NO! Preserve American Open Wheel Racing!

    Comment by Bob F. — September 1, 2010 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  2. Okay, you can put me firmly in the column of those who think that your split idea is stupid. Monumentally so. It’d be like 1995, except the series breaking off wouldn’t have the sponsors, the drivers, or the television contracts. The existing series (NASCAR) would have all of the above. And they’d have the marquee race. Or Races. Sorry to point this out, but in a breakaway series, the Brickyard 400 becomes the equivalent of the US500. And I have to think that the NASCAR owners won’t make the same mistake the CART guys did. They’ll find a way to show up at the race. If they’re’s a 25/8 rule (or the equivalent) they’ll make the breakaway series have to explain why they’re sending faster cars home. And then they’ll run the race and likely kick ass, and show fans that grassroots is synonomous with minor leagues.

    Also, Bruton Smith isn’t an idiot. He, and SMI, support IndyCar races, yes. Why? Because he thinks he can promote them and make money in the market; if Texas didn’t draw 90K, and he didn’t think Loudon and Kentucky would be successes, they’d be gone like Charlotte and Atlanta. And, don’t kid yourself, if given (or forced to make) the choice between starting a new series, with no-name grassroots drivers and losing NASCAR dates, Bruton will shut his mouth, give IndyCar and ISCA the finger, and take his Cup races. And so will every other track owner/promoter who is forced to make that choice.

    Here’s a sample phone call of how it would go.

    ‘Hello, Nashville Super Speedway, Bubba speaking.’
    ‘Hi Bubba, this is Brian France. You know we like what you’ve been doing down there, and we’d love to run a cup race down there, bring in Jimmy, and Jeff, and Junior and all the guys, but the date we want to give you conflicts with that ISCA race you want to run. But I’m sure if you got rid of that other race, we’d be able to give you a really good show.’

    (2 minutes later at ISCA HQ)

    ‘Hi guys, this is Bubba in Nashville. About that race we were going to do….I’ll have to pass’

    Because NASCAR isn’t like CART; the France family will play hardball, and they’ve got the stroke to do it.

    And by the way, who is going to pay for this endeavour. In 1995, while CART had the majority of the sponsor $$$, IRL had the IMS and the Hulman family propping up the series. Whether the number is $600 million, or $200 million, without the direct support to teams, IRL wouldn’t have made it. The common belief is, whether or not its correct, that the Brickyard 400 funded a great deal of IRL. I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to see NASCAR telling IMS that their race is no longer on the schedule; NASCAR did quite well without Indy on the schedule before, they’ll do so again. IMS isn’t directly supporting IndyCar now; maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see them writing checks to a split series.

    Editor’s Note: Would it surprise you to learn that Bruton Smith has floated similar ideas in the past? I consider him to be a lot smarter than either of us, so I still say give it a shot.

    Comment by Steven Kornya — September 1, 2010 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

    • Defender: I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Bruton Smith had floated such an idea. Bruton seems like a guy who floats a lot of ideas, he’s open minded enough to listen to stuff and do his due diligence. Sometimes crazy ideas make sense, come to fruition, and work. I’d say the fact that Bruton floated it, and it seemingly went nowhere suggests that Mr. Smith realized the folly it would be. But you’re right; I’d consider him smarter than both of us combined in the world of motorsports promotion. If it is an idea that can be made to work, Bruton will have a hand in it.

      Comment by Steven Kornya — September 1, 2010 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  3. I think what is going on is that a door has been left open for the DW to compete in the IndyCar Series. It seems now the league and owenrs are in “lock step” as Dennis R put it, so this might be something very interesting.

    Another series will never happend because #1, it won’t work without Indy and #2, when unification took place, an agreement was signed that made illegal for anyone to start a rival series, more specifically current team owenrs.

    Comment by M. Miller — September 1, 2010 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  4. “Personally I wish ICONIC had approved the Delta Wing in addition to the choice they made” –

    That would have made an immense amount of sense. It would have been a great marketing angle – classic desighn vs the futurisitc design and so on.

    “Please allow me to float an idea that would either be brilliant or crazy depending on your outlook. If someone is stupid enough to want to go through another ‘split’ why not make it the granddaddy of all splits? Bruton Smith and Indy Car should team up to start a grassroots STOCK car series that runs on independent and SMI tracks. The goal would be lower cost and more ‘stock’ than NASCAR. Call it ‘ISCA.’ The Indy Stock Car Association. Run race weekends with Indy Cars and include most of the non-ovals. I believe it is high time the entire France family soiled their britches for a change.” –

    I have had this very idea for a while, minus the political angle, however I would have spun it as an alternative to Nascar rather than a rival. It will be a cold day in hell before the France family aren’t the dominant force in North American stock car racing, espcially with the sheer scope of their control over the tracks in America. And another thing – SMI is NEVER going to shut Nascar out of its tracks.

    Worried about NASCAR pulling out of IMS? So what? Run ISCA. Want to make it even more interesting? Buy ALMS. Rename it ‘ILMS.’ The Indy Le Mans Series. Run that with Indy Cars on road courses and run ISCA on ovals. Think of all the promotional possibilities.” –

    Theres no need to buy the ALMS and it runs with Indycar on some road courses anyway and Don Panoz isn’t going to sell it because he’s not in it for the money, he made his $$$ off nicotine patches. I’d like to see ALMS back at Sonoma (property B.Smith) one day though, using the proper track rather than the abortion of a course that Indycar uses. That track in wine country is a sportscar and stock car track, it just ain’t right for Indycars.

    Comment by hates crappies hates gomers — September 1, 2010 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  5. You must buy really expensive crack!

    Comment by Offender — September 1, 2010 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  6. Hm… I don’t think a split in stock car racing is a good idea. I mean, it might help Indycar, but the two stock car series would end up like IRL/Champcar, without money and struggling. I don’t know who’d do better though, NASCAR’s got the Daytona 500, but it’s not as big as the Indy 500, so I’m not sure how big of advantage it would be, especially with SMI having Bristol. Can’t see it being a good idea for anyone, though. As for buying ALMS, well, if it were up for sale, I’d be for that, but the people who own it aren’t likley to be in the selling mood. Plus, that woudl be a lot of money for the series to spend, not sure if the Hulmans want to dump the amount of money it would cost to make a stock car or sports car series. I’d rather see them use that money on Indycar, and fix our problems, rhather than start a new series.

    Comment by dylanpt24 — September 1, 2010 @ 11:56 pm | Reply


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